In a world worn down by cynicism, humour is an excellent non-confrontational tool for overcoming resistance to new ideas. Funny stories can defuse hostile attitudes, loosen entrenched mindsets, and shake up worldviews so that minds become more permeable to change and new ways of thinking.
This week’s Reconnect explores Ekostories that utilize humour not just for entertainment purposes, but also as social commentary and criticism that strike at the root of the ecological crisis. Dinosaurs’ series finale Changing Nature is a satirical take on humanity’s attitude towards the environment that hits uncomfortably close to home. Louis CK’s hilarious routine highlights the importance of comedians as storytellers in today’s culture by that reminding us that we should give thanks more than once a year. Finally, Gary Larson’s There’s a Worm in My Dirt! is his twisted take on a fairy tale that can hopefully inspire us to better understand the flora and fauna that we share our planet with.
Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs: Changing Nature
Everything is Amazing, by Louis CK
Using humor effectively requires understanding one’s audience fairly well. If I have a background that’s very different from my audience’s, or if my audience is uncomfortable with the subject and is likely to be defensive, I am less likely to make jokes.
Sorry for the late reply. I went to ruminate about your very valid point and forgot to come back to it. My apologies!
Yes, humour isn’t always effective; there are lots of subjects that may be off-limits, especially when it’s at the expense of someone’s ideology or beliefs. But I think good comedy and good storytelling are very similar in that they are both sneaky and indirect ways to speak about a particular truth. Hopefully this subversiveness can catch someone who has their usual defenses up offguard. 🙂